A pro artist, I put it in the good music
A con artist job’s to make you look stupid
Lookie here I’ll teach you how to look through it
First thing you need to know every con got a hook to it
A lot of interesting wordplay going on here…
Ali is a professional artist, meaning making music is his job. A con(fidence) artist’s job is literally to make you look stupid. This is somebody who attempts to defraud a person, exposing negative characteristics such as naïvety, irresponsibility, etc.
Ali sets these two up against each other, as pros and cons (pro et contra) are opposites, meaning “for and against”. Ali thus states his opinion, saying he is trying to make you look intelligent, helping you so you won’t fall for a scam.
Seeing as the rest of the verse is “firing shots” towards right wing politicians, we can draw a connection between “con artists” and and conservatives. Ali compares these, and further goes on to explaining why he considers conservative politics a “fraud”.
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